Wind Cave Tours Canceled For Elevator Repairs


HOT SPRINGS, S.D. – Cave tours at Wind Cave National Park have been suspended pending elevator repairs. Replacement parts are on order and tours could resume in early September.  

“We believe this current repair will get us back up and running until there is a total replacement of the elevator system in 2024,” said Park Superintendent Leigh Welling. “While we wait for these repairs, there is still plenty to do at the park. Rangers are giving a variety of programs throughout the day beginning at 9 a.m. with a talk at the Natural Entrance and ending at 8:30 p.m. with our evening program at the Elk Mountain Campground.”  

The visitor center remains open with rangers offering free interpretive programs throughout the day. Talk locations are at the downstairs map in the visitor center, at the tipi on the front lawn and at the Natural Entrance.  

There will be hour-long hikes of the Prairie Vista Trail beginning from the visitor center at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. These hikes will explore the prairie ecosystem and its wildlife. Bring water, good hiking shoes, and dress for the weather.  

Throughout the day rangers will be staffing a Jr. Ranger table helping young visitors earn their Jr. Ranger badge. The park store, run by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, a non-profit partner supporting park education efforts, remains open with a variety of products for sale.    

The park has 30 miles of hiking trails including a hike to the park’s highest point, Rankin Ridge, a one-hour, one mile hike with views extending to the Badlands on a clear day. Driving through the park provides viewing opportunities for a range of wildlife.  

Updates to cave tour status will be posted on the park’s website at and Facebook page.  

Photo Caption:  While Wind Cave tours are suspended, additional interpretive programs like this tipi talk will be offered. (NPS Photo)